They say you only have one chance to make a first impression. Whether it’s a job interview, a first date, or a customer interacting with your brand for the first time, the same holds true. So, why do organizations spend so much time buried beneath data and technology trying to find that needle in a haystack when your customers could care less?

Think about how much time you spend trying to create the perfect reports, the perfect implementation of analytics, or even the perfect PowerPoint presentation that shows all of the progress you made in the past year. Now, ask yourself: how much of what you did actually had an impact on the ROI for your business or led to you learning something about your customers that led to an optimized approach or experience? Don’t worry, if you’re sitting there thinking “no” you are not alone.

As an industry, we have an obsession with data. We put it in data lakes, data rivers, data oceans, and plaster the term “big data” on every analytics strategy presented in the boardroom.

Truth be told, it means nothing if you don’t actually use that data to do something to take action on it.  For some reason, perfection has become the theme when it comes to building out an analytics program these days. I was taught at a very young age that perfection is unattainable, so why are we so obsessed with trying to be perfect?

Customers aren’t looking for perfect, they are looking for you to learn about them and try to find the best way to interact with them across channel and across platform. You don’t need to build some comprehensive framework to try and improve the status quo across your marketing initiatives. ROI is right there for the taking, you just have to free your mind a bit and get back to basics.

The goal shouldn’t be to create perfection, it should be to learn. Candidly, you can’t learn if you don’t try something new. You can stare at those reports for days, you can have your data scientists work on models, but while you’re waiting for the outputs, you’re missing the opportunity to actually learn something about your customers and make a lasting impression on them. Loyalty comes with creating a bond with your customers, and that bond can be formed by taking simple measures to connect with them on a personalized level.

I know what you’re thinking: “you don’t know my organization, it’s too complex, and you’re making this sound too easy.” I get it. I really do, but I’m going to respectfully beg to differ. The clients that we have gotten to take a step back away from the trees and realize why we are collecting data in the first place have been the clients that have seen the most gains in the past year.

There is a time and a place for data modeling, and you have to obviously ensure that the data you do have is accurate, but you don’t have to spend forever building the most comprehensive analytics framework before you test concepts or trigger marketing responses based on behavior, actions taken, or inaction. There are use cases you can implement today, if you have the right guidance to understand what’s possible. We are here to help you understand that and would love to chat with you further about it if this newsletter is getting you fired up.

Honestly, we (and everyone else) have preached about a “maturity model” or “maturity curve” to analytics. I’m here to tell you that it no longer applies. Taking a linear approach to analytics maturity is a thing of the past. We live in a world that makes it consistently easier to implement complex technologies in a low-risk way.

It’s time to break through that glass ceiling and realize that your customers are waiting for you on the other side. Connect with them by actually trying something different. Use the technology you have, the data you have, and the people you have to make it happen. You have the recipe for success right in front of you and it’s time to make dinner.

Let’s get to work.